EAT WELL

Delight Gluten Free - - Healthy Living -

Un­healthy di­ets loaded with junk food take their toll on our youth: More than 17 per­cent of Amer­i­can chil­dren ages 6 to 19 are over­weight. In the short term, a nu­tri­ent-de­fi­cient diet makes it dif­fi­cult for kids to stave off ill­ness. One of the big­gest im­mune-sys­tem of­fend­ers is in­flam­ma­tion and the big­gest con­trib­u­tor to in­flam­ma­tion is high-sugar and pro­cessed foods, says Norma Kayte O’dell, a cer­ti­fied nu­tri­tional ther­apy prac­ti­tioner in Beaver­ton, Ore­gon. Nor­mally, the body mo­bi­lizes its nat­u­ral im­mune de­fenses to com­bat acute ill­nesses or in­juries such as a sore throat or a cut, but when you’re over­weight, your im­mune sys­tem shifts into over­drive and at­tacks healthy cells and tis­sue. The re­sult­ing chronic in­flam­ma­tion can lead to a host of health woes, from the com­mon cold to more se­ri­ous dis­eases. While more school cafe­te­rias are trad­ing greasy, high-fat fare for freshly pre­pared foods, you can re­vamp even a picky eater’s diet right at home. Here’s how:

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